Last night, Per Blomquist appeared before the Zoning Board of Appeals to request an area variance. He plans to demolish the buildings that now stand at 248 and 250 Columbia Street (shown below) and build a new building that will contain five one-bedroom apartments.
Blomquist sees a need for small, affordable apartments for young people--singles and couples--who are coming to Hudson, and his plan would provide five such apartments. When he appeared before the Planning Commission in August, however, he was told by city attorney Cheryl Roberts, counsel to the Planning Commission and the ZBA, that the minimum size for a "dwelling unit," which Roberts interpreted to be an apartment, was 1,500 square feet. The apartments in the proposed building would be just 700 square feet.
Thinking that 1,500 square feet is pretty big for an apartment, Gossips did a little online research this morning to find out about the size of apartments in Hudson. Among the apartments currently available in Hudson are a 700 square foot apartment on State Street and an 800 square foot apartment on Robinson Street--both in the same R-4 Zone as the site of the proposed building. On Warren Street, which is zoned Central Commercial and may have more modest bulk requirements for apartments, there is an 800 square foot apartment in the 400 block and an 850 square foot apartment in the 200 block. On Harry Howard Avenue, in an area that is zoned R-1 One-Family Residential, there is a 900 square foot apartment for rent. The rental space now available that is 1,500 square feet or more is either commercial space or a whole house.
At last night's meeting, the ZBA determined that the application for an area variance was complete and scheduled a public hearing on the project for Wednesday, October 16, at 6 p.m.